The latest Alzheimer’s statistics are sobering. The disease is now the 6th leading cause of death, rising above both breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. And though deaths from many other chronic conditions, like cardiovascular disease, are decreasing, those from Alzheimer’s have increased upwards of 100%. The toll the illness takes on family caregivers is likewise shocking, with more than 16 million Americans delivering over 18 billion hours of care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease.
Though we’ve yet to find an end to Alzheimer’s disease, there are two top medications for Alzheimer’s that can help minimize some of the more predominant symptoms. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, there are a couple of options the doctor may … Read More »
Our natural instinct when we are picking up on the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s or another type of cognitive decline in ourselves or someone we love is to look the other way, denying that there is a problem. However, the Alzheimer’s Association advises that it’s vitally important to face the issue head-on as quickly as possible, since early diagnosis and intervention allow for the most effective treatment plan to be put into place.
For many seniors, admitting the need for help is likened to admitting defeat. After living in an era that emphasized the need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and stay strong and self-reliant in the face of adversity, it’s a difficult mindset to change. How can you help aging parents understand the benefits of home care assistance, without viewing it as a threat to their freedom and independence?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and when it comes to comprehending the thoughts and feelings of someone with dementia, no truer words have been spoken. Artistic expression is vital for all of us, but the benefits of art in dementia are especially remarkable, including enhanced socialization and physical health, a calmer, more peaceful demeanor, and even improvements in both apathy and self-worth.
Conversations with a senior battling with all the challenges of Alzheimer’s, especially in the middle and later stages, is often discouraging – both for you and also for the person with Alzheimer’s. Brain changes impede the ability to listen, process, and respond appropriately to conversations, and it is up to us to employ innovative approaches to communicating to more effectively connect with an individual with dementia.
It’s quite a bit easier than it might appear, however. We already communicate nonverbally in many ways:
Posture and body movement
Consider these communication tips for dementia to include increased nonverbal communication into your interactions with a senior loved one:
Offer reassurance through gentle touch. If a senior loved one is comfortable with touch, hold and pat the … Read More »
Receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is life-altering – for the person being diagnosed, of course, but just as much for his or her loved ones. It’s important for family caregivers to allow themselves ample time to process the changes to come and to find a healthy way to work through the various emotions that arise.
Because Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, one of the difficulties for caregivers is finding peace in the midst of each stage. And while providing care for a senior loved one is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding roles we can take on, it’s not without its challenges as well. It can be helpful to use reflection as a tool to better cope with the challenges and changes. Hired Hands Homecare’s … Read More »
From the second the door swings open and your elderly loved one wraps you in a warm embrace, through the joyous holiday meal and each timeless family custom, possibilities abound for not simply quality time together, but also to assess how your parent is really doing and if any warning signs of dementia are noted.
There are specific indicators which can suggest cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Because Alzheimer’s is now more and more common in seniors, and because early diagnosis and treatment are fundamental, the dementia care team at Hired Hands Homecare recommends monitoring for any of the following common signs and symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s disease throughout your holiday visit this year:
Social differences. According to John Ramsay, CEO of Shift … Read More »
The old adage is true: elephants truly do have amazing memories, even into their later years. To illustrate, they’re able to recollect and go back to highly specific locations decades after visiting them, irrespective of age. Exactly what can we glean from elephants that may result in helping us better understand Alzheimer’s disease and to maximize our own cognitive performance later in life?
Remarkably, older elephants’ brains show no buildup of the amyloid plaques some researchers are linking to Alzheimer’s. Even though other health professionals tout the need for sufficient sleep to permit the mind the chance to clean away plaques, elephants are tromping over that theory, sleeping as little as 2 hours daily.
But one factor rises above the rest which may be the main key: socialization. … Read More »
When it comes to caring for a family member, family dynamics can play a big part in the caregiver’s outlook. For those who have been brought up by loving parents who provided for all their needs, providing the same standard of care may simply be second nature. But what if you’ve been scarred by childhood experiences, determined to keep your distance from difficult family members later in life, simply to end up going back to provide assistance for them in a period of need?
AARP offers some helpful tips for family members who want to conquer old wounds in the interests of providing care:
Set emotional boundaries. It’s possible to give compassionate home care while staying emotionally detached. Just … Read More »
Have you ever walked in to the office or a get-together with friends or family and had a person say to you with great concern, “You really look tired today!” Although you may have been feeling pretty perky before that interaction, without warning you may suddenly actually feel exhausted and rundown. The words we use with each other and the manner by which we interpret them are meaningful. And when speaking with people who have a long-term health concern, it’s very important to thoughtfully think about what to express, and maybe more importantly, what NOT to say, that can help the person feel his or her best.
While we are surely well meaning, there are specific comments which are … Read More »